By Iuridicum Remedium

The Czech Big Brother Award (BBA) 2019 winners are the Czech Security Information Service (BIS), the antivirus company Avast, and the energy company PRE. Positive prize of Edward Snowden went to the city of Prague.

The awards were given by EDRi member Iuridicum remedium (IuRe) during a press conference on 4 March 2020. It was the 15th annual Awards, and the winners were chosen among public nominations by the nine members of the jury.

The BIS was selected over a law amendment it prepared and approved. According to the amendment, intelligence services can create databases of digital photographs downloaded from various state registers and use them for face recognition.

Czech company Avast received the BBA for the sale of its clients’ data. The jury highlighted the problem of incorrectly anonymising personal data, which allowed specific people to be re-identified through the connection of sold data with personal data from other sources.

Energy company PRE was awarded for long-standing recording of clients conversations on its branches and violations of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Labor Code through monitoring employees and false information about it.

The “Big Brother Statement” prize was given to Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) deputy Vit Kankovsky for the statement which was connected with presentation of legislation in the Chamber of Deputies. Under this legislation, the Czech Office for Personal Data Protection would be unable to punish civil service and local authorities over the GDPR.

The only positive “Edward Snowden Award” was given to the City of Prague for its refusal to introduce face recognition technology in the urban CCTV system in Prague.

Big Brother Awards is an event which seeks to highlight violations of our privacy, especially with regard to new methods of surveillance, associated with the development of technology. Since 1998, the Big Brother Awards have been organised in a number of countries around Europe – in some countries, the Awards are a new initiative, while in many others, a solid tradition has been established, and the BBA has become an annual event. Thanks to the BBA events, the information about the most striking violations in the field of privacy is shared with the broader public.

Iuridicum Remedium – IuRe
http://www.iure.org/

Czech Big Brother Awards
https://bigbrotherawards.cz/

Czech firms Avast, PRE, and BIS receive satirical Big Brother 2019 Awards (04.03.2020)
https://news.expats.cz/weekly-czech-news/czech-firms-avast-pre-and-bis-receive-satirical-big-brother-2019-awards/

Big Brother Awards International
http://www.bigbrotherawards.org/

(Contribution by EDRi member Iuridicum Remedium – IuRE, Czech Republic)